Pat on the Back – Winning strategies to engage employees

Well done to the “+1” team on their HR Brilliance Award!

Congratulations to AstraZeneca and the +1 team on their employee engagement award.

employee referral campaignLooking to bring existing employee referral programmes together to simplify the recruitment process, and improve staff performance and retention rates, AstraZeneca partnered with Parker Design to devise a campaign that would maximise employee engagement in the new global referral scheme.employee referral campaign

Following focus group discussions with teams in 78 countries, different cultures, languages and legal protocols, and a wide range of employee engagement ideas, the concept of +1 was born: invite someone you know to something special.employee referral campaign

To maximise employee participation in the new engagement campaign, AstraZeneca needed an easily adaptable identity that employees from different disciplines and corners of the globe would immediately understand and identify with. employee referral campaign

To encourage employees to immerse themselves in the new programme, we created a complete toolkit, including a brand style guide, branded office environments, posters, pull-up banners, email templates and a range of promotional assets, plus an explainer video to help launch the initiative.

Focusing on the difference an individual and their trusted circle can make immediately captured employees’ imaginations – establishing a deep emotional connection and sense of ownership that was clear from the various launch events across the organisation.employee referral campaign

As well as winning industry recognition with an HR Brilliance Award, the success of the +1 initiative was backed by some exceptional results:


Over 1000% increase in the number of referrals received in Q3 vs. previous year.

The campaign helped attract over 20% of all external hires in a 12-month period vs. 5.5% in previous year.

AstraZeneca also saw a significant reduction in time to fill position.


Well done to everybody involved!